Top 10 Lat Pulldown Cable Machines for Home Use
Cable lat pulldowns machines are a must-have for lifters that want to target every muscle group in their body. Lats (as well as the muscles in your upper back) are a little tricky to isolate with standard exercises. While bench presses, pushups, and deadlifts will hit your lats, they often only play a supporting role. These machines, when used correctly, really isolate upper body muscle groups. Plus, by simply positioning your hands or your body differently, you can engage in a myriad of different lifts.
We wanted to make sure that we selected designs that were easy to use, able to accommodate higher weights and could stand the test of time. In this guide, we have selected the best cable lat pulldown machines to help round out your home gym!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 17 hrs of research
High and low pulley systems
Weight plate storage post
Two collars included
270-pound weight capacity
10 Best Cable Lat Pulldown Machines
1. Fitness Reality 810XLT
High and low pulley systems
Weight plate storage post
Two collars included
270-pound weight capacity
Can be a little shaky
This lat pulldown machine has strong nylon cables, two directions of pulleys, and a smooth glide rail. If you train hard with this machine, you will get the results you are looking for.Read more
The Fitness Reality machine has pulley systems at both the high and low positions. It has high strength nylon coated cables, and the guide rail glides easily. It also has foam bars for an easy grip.
A lower rear bar gives you more space for bench lifting, and it includes a footrest for seated exercises. Two spring collars are included. You can use it with Olympic or standard plates.
It is a great home lat pulldown machine to build up your shoulders, arms, and upper back because it operates smoothly. It has a 270-pound weight capacity.
2. Body-Solid Powerline PLM180X
Easy to use
Welded steel construction
Body-Solid is a brand that we are very familiar with. What we love about this brand is that they offer incredibly solid pieces of home gym equipment that is made for the test of time. This design may cost a little bit more than some of the other designs that we have explored, but it is well worth it if you are looking for a machine that will outlive you!Read more
It doesn’t get more simplified or easier to use than this machine. It is composed of solid welded steel with a glossy powder-coated finish. To use, lifters sit on the small stability chair and hook their knees under the foam pads before pulling the bar down to engage your lats.
This design doesn’t include a weight stack, which means you will need to bring your own plates to the party. It has a pair of metal posts at the base that is used to load up plates. This design is able to accommodate up to 250 pounds of weight. Anything more, you risk the change of snapping the line.
If you are in the market for something that comes from a trusted brand and it’s made from quality materials, this design from Body-Solid is a great choice. It may cost a little bit more than other designs that we have seen but the smaller footprint, durability, and ease of use make it well worth the slightly padded price tag.
3. Rogue Fitness Monster Lat Pulldown
High and low pulley
3 x 3 inch, 11 gauge steel framing
300 pound weight stack
This machine is heavy duty beast designed for the serious weight trainer. It features 3 inch x 3 inch 11-gauge steel framing that can be affixed to the wall (a power rack attachment model os also available).Read more
It comes with a 300 pound weight stack that goes up in increments of 10 pounds. The high and low pulleys all features 6 inch wheels with UHMW covers.
The Monster Lat Pulldown machine comes with a stainless steel black pulldown bar, a diamond tread adjustable footplate, custom built carabiners and an extra comfortable ergonomically designed seat with leg lock pad.
Overall this unit is commercial gym quality, but be warned - it has a price to match!
500-pound weight capacity
Easy to use
Mounts to HulkFit power cage
Looking for something strong enough to fit into your powerlifting routine? What we loved about this design from HulkFit is that it has a higher weight capacity than most. While it technically can hold up to 1,000 pounds, HulkFit stresses that to avoid replacing the cables frequently, you should only train with up to 500 pounds.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that it boasts an incredibly solid frame that is composed of quality materials. It boasts an incredibly stable and solid cable that is able to hold 500 pounds comfortable when used daily. This weight capacity is one of the highest out there on the market, and a perfect match for powerlifters looking to boost a PR at home.
It is important to note that this isn’t a freestanding model. It requires users to mount it to their HulkFit power cage to be used correctly. The good news here is that these cages are slightly more affordable than some of the higher-end designs, and they allow you to really switch up your cable workouts as needed.
If you are in the market for something heavy-duty to rise to the occasion of your super heavy lifts, this design from HulkFit is one of your best options. While it requires the use of a HulkFit power cage, the extra cost makes it well worth it if you need a device that is really able to handle higher weights.
5. Weider Power Stack
Chest press attachment
Seated row cable
Lower weight capacity
Looking for something that comes with stack weights that are built for more than just lats? A stack is a terrible thing to waste on just one lift, which is why this design from Weider has a few additional features to really dig into multiple muscle groups. Plus, it clocks in at a price point that won’t break the bank.Read more
What initially drew us to this design from Weider is that it boasts a price tag of a machine that doesn’t include a stack. This weighted stack makes adjusting your weights as easy as pulling out a pin. It might not have the same weight limit as stackless designs, but the ease of use (especially for drop sets) is worth the sacrifice.
This design also has a chest press attachment that uses the same stack to build muscle in your chest as well as shoulder and even lats. Plus, it even has a seated row attachment like many of the similar designs out there on the market.
If you don’t have plates to use on many of the designs that we have seen, this option from Weider is a great choice. It has a slightly larger footprint when compared to some of the other designs that we have seen, but the versatility and ease of use make it well worth it.
6. Sunny Health & Fitness Power Zone
Seat row bar
Requires power rack
Sunny Health & Fitness has developed an entire system to help you get a full-body workout in one simple machine. Today, we are looking specifically at the lat attachment that hooks onto the base of the cage. This design offers a higher weight capacity than most and comes from one of the more trusted names in the industry.Read more
To use this design, you will first need to mount it to an existing power rack. If you don’t have one in your home gym, Sunny Health and Fitness offers a great one at an affordable price point. This design is able to hold just a little over 350 pounds, which makes it ideal for powerlifters or anyone that wants to push heavier weights.
It boasts dual cable bars that allow you to get a full-body workout in one compact machine. The top lat bar is wide enough to allow for wide or narrow grips to activate your triceps and chest muscles in addition to your lats. The bar at the base is perfect for heavy seated rows, or even bicep curls.
If you are in the market for a design that is able to hold a lot of weight that hairs from a trusted brand, this design from Sunny Health and Fitness is a great choice. We love that it is made from quality materials that hold up well over time, and users are able to push just a little bit heavier when compared to other designs out there on the market.
7. Deltech Fitness Lat Attachment
High-quality nylon cabling
Jerk free action
No low pulley
This lat attachment is designed to fit a Deltech fitness bench. It is finished with a layer of powder coat paint and has an adjustable height. You can use standard weights with this attachment but they are not included.Read more
It fits onto any Deltech Fitness bench. It provides you with a one and three-quarter inch square mounting post that securely attaches to the main body of the bench.
High-quality nylon cabling and bushes ensure a smooth, jerk-free pulling motion on this lat pulldown attachment. The height of the attachment is adjustable to suit different user requirements. The unit is finished in a durable powder-coat paint.
8. XMark Heavy Duty Lat Pulldown
400-pound weight capacity
14-inch Olympic plate adaptors
Aircraft quality cabling
Tall people may not be able to get a full stretch
The XMark has a 400-pound load capacity with two levels of pulley stations. It can be used with either Olympic or standard weights. The strong steel mainframe has a powder coat finish which is scratch-resistant.Read more
The XMark plate loaded lat pulldown exercise machine comes with both a high and low pulley. This lat pulldown machine with weight stack has an impressive 400-pound capacity. It can be used with both conventional and Olympic plates, thanks to the two 14 inch Olympic plate adaptors which are included.
The square steel mainframe is made from 11 gauge, two by three-inch steel. A scratch-resistant powder-coated finish provides both durability and style.
XMark plate loaded lat pulldown is made of 3-inch dura craft cushioning. The vinyl covering the seat and rollers is tear-resistant. The nylon coated cables are aircraft-quality, being tested to 2,200 pounds. You also get a diamond footplate for seated rowing, that can be flipped out of the way for other exercises.
9. Merax Athletics LAT Pull Attachment
Easy to use
Seat row cable
Limited weight capacity
Merax is one of the more trusted brands in the home gym equipment world, and its cable machine is worth checking out. This machine is composed of quality materials that hold up well over time, and have slight design variances that help you get the most out of your home workouts.Read more
This design is composed of a 2x2 welded steel construction that holds up incredibly well over the years. It is able to hold about 286 pounds on the cable line and requires the use of plates that are loaded onto the base. This weight limit runs about in the middle of the road when compared to similar designs out there on the market.
One of the things that we liked most about this design is that it boasts dual cables that workout more than just your lats. The base cable is a great option for seated rows as well as standing curls. The lat bar is much wider than other designs that we have seen, which allow you to really target specific muscle groups by simply widening your grip.
If you are in the market for something that comes from a trusted brand that offers a wide variety of workout options, this design from Merax is a great choice. Users love that it boasts a comfortable and durable seat with knee pads that are built to hold you firmly in place as you work your upper body. Plus, it is made from materials that hold up nicely over time.
10. Fitness Reality X-Class
High weight capacity
Requires a power cage
What we liked most about this design from Fitness Reality is that it boasts a simple yet effective frame that clocks in at a super affordable price point. While it is able to hold very heavy weights to work your lats, the only downside is that it needs to be attached to an existing power cage to be mounted properly.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that it is composed of quality material from top to bottom. The tension line is made from a durable steel material that is coated in a layer of nylon to prevent rusting and weakening when exposed to damp or humid climates. This option is so reliable that it comes with a 10-year warranty.
One of the things that makes this design different is that it has a top and bottom bar. These bars are made from welded steel construction and are coated with a durable layer of foam to protect your hands. The top bars are designed for your traditional lat exercises, while the bottom is great for standing curls or seated rows.
If you are in the market for something affordable and easy to use, this design from Fitness Reality is a great choice. We love that it is composed of tough materials that hold up well over the years. Be sure that you have a compatible power rack to mount this design before you make your purchase!
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Ease of Use
A machine that is easy to use is often the most used machine in the gym!
When you are looking for ease of use, you want a lat machine that will pull down and run smoothly. Hopefully, the weights will be easy to switch for your different exercises. It helps to have excellent foam grips on the handles. It should also be easy to put together.
For snappy drop sets, we recommend opting for a stack model. Weight stacks are often more expensive than those that use plates, but they are simple to adjust. When you need to drop weight quickly, all you need to do is pull out a pin and pop it into position.
A quality machine needs to be able to hold up to years of continued use in musty garages.
You will want to look for a machine which is made of strong steel. The pulley system should have smooth running pulleys with reinforced, top quality cables. Any seat should be made of quality fabric with reinforced stitching, as well as having good thick foam on the handles.
Welded steel with a powder-coated finish is a great option for musty basements or damp garages. The powder-coat makes the steel resistant to rust, which means that it will hold up longer over time in less than ideal conditions.
Another important thing to consider is the durability of the cable. In fact, the cable is the most important feature to consider, because the last thing that you want is a broken cable. While cables are able to be replaced, we wanted to spare you the hassle. Design that coats their cable lines with nylon or TPU last much longer than those that don't.
Extra features offer more exercise options so you can get the biggest bang for your buck.
Although most of these machines are very similar, some have a few different features you might be interested in. Some have rubber feet, which will keep the machine stable and protect the floor. Probably the most critical feature is whether or not the machine comes with a weight stack.
We made sure to select designs built with extra features that allow you to get the most out of your workouts. Designs that utilize a second cable on the base is a great way to fit in a set of seated rows. These low-mounted bars are also great for bicep curls as well.
A smooth range of motion requires an expertly crafted pully system.
To consider motion control, you want a smooth pulley system that works without a jerking motion. The bar should come down at a right angle so you can get a good pull and the entire machine should be hopefully easy to adjust.
Double pulleys not only create a smoother ride, but it also helps to distribute the weight evenly to reduce the tension on the line. When the line wears more evenly, it means that the line will last longer before it needs to be replaced.
Another important thing to consider is that these pulleys need regular maintenance to run smoothly over the years. Simply pop the wheel off, wide off any debris and dirt, and place it back onto the machine.
Quality materials mean that your machine will be able to withstand anything that you can throw at it over the years of brutal workouts.
This lat pulldown machine is a good investment, so hopefully, it will last you a long time. It needs to be made of the highest quality of materials. The frame needs to be strong, durable steel. The pulleys need to be long-lasting and attached to aircraft quality cables. You do not want to scrimp when it comes to materials.
If you need to save money, don't skrimp on materials! A good way to select a more affordable option is to opt for a design that doesn't come with an included stack. Lower weight capacity often translates to a more affordable price point as well.
You may do lat exercises for hours on end and as fast as possible, but unless you do them the correct way you will not get your desired result.
Go slowly, keep your chest high, and your elbows pointed at the ground. Focus on your technique so you can get the most out of your workout.
Using a V grip handle helps you get the perfect angle so you will get the ultimate workout.
It helps fit your natural arm movement and will keep your exercise in line to avoid injury.
We know that it is tempting to try and push as heavy as possible. With these styles of machines, it’s super easy to cheat yourself by jerking the bar down when loaded with heavy plates. Not only do you cheat yourself of compound muscle engagement, but you also run the risk of pulling a muscle, especially in your neck. If you have ever pulled a muscle in your neck, you know full well just how miserable it can be!
Other Factors to Consider
It is imperative that you have a machine you can adjust to match your body stature so you can do the exercises correctly to get the best pull and be able to work out with minimal injury.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are some of the benefits of using a lat pulldown machine?
The latissimus dorsi is a tricky muscle group to target in a wide variety of exercises. While your basic lifts such as bench presses, deadlifts, and even push-ups use your lats, they don’t really target them. By using a lat pulldown machine, you 100 percent target those hard-to-reach muscles in your upper back.
Strong lats will not only benefit your workouts when you are pushing for high reps or high weight, but they also benefit you when you aren’t working out. Strong lats work to strengthen your neck, back, shoulders, and even your hips, which takes stress off your joints throughout the day.
q: What kind of exercise can I do on this lat pulldown machine?
As well as the basic lat pulldown and row machine, you’ll be able to do such exercises as triceps pushdowns, cable curls, upright rowing, and seated rowing. It allows you to stretch, contract, and expand the muscles of your upper body in a way that you can’t get with free weights.
q: How do I know if my grip is too wide?
A wide grip is ideal for activating your chest muscles, but can you go too wide? The short answer is yes, there is a limit to how wide you can go. If your grip is too wide, you will feel it almost immediately, Instead of feeling the burn in your muscles, you will feel a good deal of strain on your shoulder joints and even your neck. If you consistently train with a grip that is too wide, it is a recipe for a torn ligament or strained joints.
To avoid this, engage in a little trial and error. Drop the weights low enough so that it won’t cause any real damage, and play with a width that feels good for you. There is no exact measurement for the perfect wide grip because everyone’s body composition is just a little bit different. The rule of thumb here is that if it feels a bit strained, you’re doing it wrong!
q: How do I know if I’m lifting too heavy?
One of the downsides to seated lat exercises is that you can use momentum to cheat. We all want to lift as heavy as we possibly can, but in doing so you are cheating yourself. There is a simple way to tell if the weight is too heavy. If you need to lift your rear end off of the seat to jerk the weight down- you need to drop weight!
The perfect form requires that you have control over the line from start to finish. When you jerk the bar down, you are cheating yourself of those few inches at the top that digs into your lat muscles. Plus, as you already know, any jerking motion when it comes to lifting often resulted in pulled muscles.
q: Should I pull the bar behind my neck?
Many will tell you that behind the neck motions are a bad idea, but when executed properly this can be an ideal motion for working a myriad of muscle groups at the same time. This motion can be a little more tricky than your standard front pull. Be sure that you never ever jerk the cable, and be hyper-aware of your range of motion.
A behind the neck lift works your traps, lats, triceps, delts, as well as a host of other little stabilizing muscles. We recommend giving this lift a try with lightweight so you can really nail proper form before loading up the bar.
q: Why is the bar so wide?
The beauty of these machines is that they boast a wide bar that creates a variety of lifts. If you hold the bar narrow, you can focus more on your triceps and biceps. A wide grip works to activate muscles in your chest as well. By simply moving your grip up and down the bar, you are able to target almost every muscle group in your upper body.
Plus, not all lifters are created equal. Those with a larger wingspan require a very wide grip to hit their lats and chest muscles.
q: Should I invest in a weight stack?
Some of the designs that we have seen on our list include a weight stack with purchase, while others require the use of plates (not included). So, what are some of the benefits of a weight stack? These stacks often come in at a higher price point and box you into very specific weights and weight limits. For some, a stack may be one of your best options.
If you don’t have a variety of plates in your home gym (or any at all) a stack is well worth the investment. These designs allow you to adjust the weight on the line by simply pulling [in and placing it at the desired weight. If drop sets are your jam, it doesn’t get any quicker than a pull pin weight stack!
q: How many calories am I burning?
If you do the regular exercise for about 15 minutes at a reasonable pace, you will burn around 112 calories.